Ant Identification

Properly identifying ant species is a crucial component of the treatment process. Different species require different methods of treatment. Therefore without a proper identification of the species, the best ant control method cannot be applied. 

Ehrlich Technicians have been trained to identify the most common species of ants that infest homes in the United States. To the untrained eye, all ants may look alike. However, there are many distinctions that set species apart both biologically and behaviorally. 

How To Identify Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ant - Camponotus pennsylvanicus


Carpenter ants can be identified by the single node that separates the thorax and abdomen. Also, the thorax has a distinctly round shape. Typically black in color, carpenter ants can also be seen with a red coloring. Size is not useful to identifying carpenter ants as they are polymorphic - meaning they range in size. 

These property-damaging insects build their nests in wood sources ranging from tree stumps to fence posts. Although carpenter ants will initially attack wet wood, the pests will eventually spread to dry wood.

How To Identify Odorous House Ants



These small ants can be identified by their dark brown color and by the coconut-like odor they emit when crushed for which they are named. Odorous house ants are known to travel in trails of hundreds and even thousands. 

This type of ant typically nests outdoors but will travel great distances indoors to retrieve food sources.

How To Identify Pharaoh Ants

Pharoahs Ant Monomorium pharaonis


Pharaoh ants can be identified by the two nodes on their petiole, but because they are so small, this feature may be difficult to see without high magnification.  

One of the smallest ants commonly found in homes, pharaoh ants will nest indoors unlike many other invasive ant species.

Despite their size, this species of ant is famous for its difficulty to remove after it has it has infested a home. If you see trails of small ants in your home that you believe could be pharaoh ants, contact a pest control professional immediately.

How To Identify Fire Ants

How To Identify:

Known for their reddish-brown, copper color and painful sting, fire ants can be identified by the two petiole nodes visible between their thorax and abdomen. Although their size can vary, fire ants are relatively small, reaching a maximum length of 1/4-inch long.  

Nest swarming is one of the identifying characteristics that you can use to identify fire ants. Fire ants make fairly large mounds on top of the soil, although their height may be restricted due to frequent mowing. When these mounds are disturbed, ants will emerge en masse and will begin to crawl over anyone or anything unlucky enough to be nearby. People should proceed with caution near swarming nests of fire ants as they will sting in numbers. 

How To Identify Ghost Ants

Ghost Ant


Easily distinguishable by their pale, whitish abdomen, legs and antennae and a dark colored head and thorax, ghost ants have highly adaptable nesting habits. Outdoors, they tend to nest in soil, rotten wood, under bark and in plant cavities such as tree holes.  

Ghost ants can often be found entering a building by way of surrounding plants that touch the structure or utility lines that enter through the exterior wall.  Inside, ghost ants have been found nesting in wall voids, spaces between cabinetry, behind baseboards and in potted plants.  

Next Steps

Find YOUR Local Branch

Type your zip code